Chennai, Apr 18:
Polling for the parliament election in Tamil Nadu was largely peaceful and without any untoward incidents. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy and DMK president M K Stalin stood in long queue to cast their votes. 45 per cent voting recorded till 2 p.m.
Almost six crore voters will be exercising their franchise in Tamil Nadu when the State votes for 38 Parliamentary constituencies and by-polls to 18 Assembly constituencies on Thursday.
The voters will choose between 822 candidates contesting for the 38 Lok Sabha constituencies. A total of 269 candidates are in the fray for the bye-elections. While voting is on in 18-Assembly seats, the polling for the remaining four seats will be held on May 19.
There are 66,699 polling booths in 38 Lok Sabha constituencies and 18 assembly constituencies in the state.
It is essentially a fight between the AIADMK-led alliance which includes the BJP, PMK, and DMDK among others, and the Secular Democratic Front (SDF)-led DMK, along with the Congress, VCK, MDMK, and the Left parties.
Of the 67720 polling booths across the state, 8293 booths have been identified as sensitive. Security arrangements have been stepped up in those booths to ensure peaceful polling.
The EC officials will monitor the polling process through the web cameras installed in 30000 booths and a centralised control room has been set up in the chief secretariat in Chennai. More than 1.50 lakh electronic voting machines and 89000 VVPATs, which will reach the booths by this evening, will be used in this election.
One hundred and sixty companies of central paramilitary personnel, each company of 90 personnel, will be deployed on election duty to maintain law and order. Nearly 64000 policemen and 27400 armed reserve men besides home guards and ex-servicemen will be deployed on security duty.
More than 3.50 lakh teachers and government employees also have been drafted for poll work. The percentage of vote cast in the general election in the state till 11 am was 30.62 per cent. Arani polled the highest (36.51%) while Chennai Central polled the minimum (22.89%).
Brisk polling was recorded at Cuddalore in the early hours of Thursday across the constituency. The votes will be counted on May 23 and the results will also be annonuced on the same day.